Last year we marked the hundred day countdown to Best of Phoenix by sharing some of our favorite food folks' "Personal Best" lists. This year we're bringing back our list of 100 Favorite Dishes. Have a suggestion for a dish you'd like us to try? Leave it in the comments section or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
51. Pork Belly Pibil from The Mission
Don't let the tableside guacamole presentation distract you when you're at The Mission. It might be fun to watch the server smush up avocados with lime juice, chiles, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and more to your specifications, but if you can get past the showy guacamole, you might actually notice the duck empanada or pork belly pibil hiding in plain sight on the appetizer menu.
The pibil in particular is definitely not a dish to miss. On its own, the pork belly is perfectly cooked. The tender, moist, fatty cut of meat is everything you would want in a piece of pork belly, surrounded in a crispy, roasted crust. But that's not all there is to this dish. Unique sauces like the black bean puree, avocado crema, and banana habanero aoili add sweet, savory, and spicy flavor profiles to the dish. We're partial to the side of pickled onions though.
Although this $15 dish is on the pricey end of appetizers in town, the artful presentation, expert execution, and flavorful combination makes it all well worth it. Live a little and splurge on this one. You'll be happy that you did.
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